Staff Profile: Alicia Gonzalez


Ellen Dieteman, Staff writer

Alicia Gonzalez, senior staff writer, is an aspiring lawyer and member of the peer jury program.

Although unsure of a specific specialization within the law profession, she considers them “a really positive force in the community” and believes she “can make a difference” through this career.

Her interest in law began at an early age when she met the lawyer from Philadelphia advising her father as he gained citizenship.

“I just remember meeting her and whenever I’d go to her office she seemed really professional, and I looked up to her for a good while,” Alicia said. “She had her own firm and was doing it all by herself. She was good at what she does and seemed passionate about it.”

This school year she is taking part in the peer jury program along with two other Prep seniors, Ally Koca and Anthony Frisina. As a member of peer jury she takes part in the questioning and sentencing of a juvenile member of the community convicted of wrongdoing.

So far, the experience has been extremely rewarding and has reaffirmed her career choice.

“It allows me to get a hands-on feel,” Alicia said. “I get to be in the courthouse reviewing real cases.”

Apart from the peer jury program she also has job shadowing experience from local lawyers. During the summer, over Microsoft Teams, she observed an attorney from Erie Insurance who specializes in worker’s compensation, a field of law she was initially unfamiliar with. The other instance was in-person and “very hands on.” She job shadowed attorney Gery Nietupski, going to his office where she met his partner and secretary. She views her experience with him to “be a turning point.”

“Overall his office had a really good environment to it,” Alicia said. “You could tell he knew what he was doing and loved practicing.”

In her upcoming college years, she hopes to peruse a pre-law track and major in political science. She has applied to Gannon University, The University of Pittsburgh, and George Washington University. As for law school, which she plans to attend after graduating from college, she is still unsure but intends to stay in the Northeastern region of the country.